A cry of grief and pain. A cry of judgement. A cry of commitment. A cry of hope. Micah's new logo represents both a cross and a cry. The cross as a cry.
Warm colours. Sharp lines. Micah's new logo is both a cry – the jagged soundwave of a shout – and a cross.
Our identity and our mission: followers of Jesus, the crucified and risen one, raising a powerful voice and doing justice together.
On the cross and in the cross, we hear and respond to four cries from God's heart and from the struggle of all people against poverty and injustice.
We hear a cry of grief
Of loss and abandonment. Jesus cries:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
How can it be that the beloved one experiences the absence of the Father? Yet that is what he says. Taking on the sins of his people and the world, he is bereft and abandoned.
And how many people call out today in grief and pain at their suffering? At their experience of God's absence? Asking where God is when the cyclone comes? Or famine claims their children? Or missiles from unseen human predators shatter homes and bleeding bodies?
We hear the cry of pain and loss in a world where God's will is not yet done as it is in heaven, and we cry that same cry. For if we are not moved by the pain of the world, then we are so much less than the people God creates and calls us to be.
We hear a cry of judgement
Jesus' execution in violence and terrible suffering on a pillar of wood is a travesty of justice. The just and innocent one is condemned through a guilty conspiracy of state power and religious authorities seeking to silence a perceived trouble-maker.
The kings of the earth and the rulers have gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.
Yet it is not the judgement of the unjust which has the final word. In the cross, we hear God's powerful cry of judgement against injustice. The judgement of the unjust is overturned and the innocent one is vindicated.
From a terrible throne, wearing a bloody crown, Jesus puts every ruler, every authority and every power on notice that their time for dominating and destroying, of binding and breaking, is rapidly coming to an end. In the cross, Jesus triumphs over powers and authorities, making an example of them, and beginning his rule of love and justice.
We hear this cry of judgement and we know injustice and indifference, poverty and greed, violence and oppression are not natural facts of the world. They are forces that oppose the just and gracious reign of Christ and they stand condemned. So we too cry out against them.
We hear a cry of commitment
Jesus calls out,
It is finished.
He has trod the terrible path to Golgotha, knowing full well where it led. He walked that road to its end, despite temptation to turn aside, despite exhaustion and fear, despite the faltering of fair-weather friends. For us, and for a world caught in sin, he gave himself. Humbled and humiliated, even to death.
In the shadow of the cross, we hear this cry of commitment and we echo it. In the midst of our busyness and tiredness, despite our fears and insecurities, among companions of greater and lesser faith, we commit to living and speaking and doing God's justice in God's world.
We are people captured by God's love to be people of love, confronting all that is not love. Even when it is hard, even when it is costly. Because Jesus – our example and our friend, our guide and our saviour – shows us and saves us into his way.
Prayerfully, passionately, powerfully doing justice together.
We hear a cry of hope
Most importantly, in the cross, death does not have not the final word. Terror and silence are not the end of the story.
Resurrection. Hope. Victory. These are the words that God speaks into a story of death, domination and defeat. The cross and the empty grave cry out that there is hope beyond death.
Cry out that God's victory over all that is not love, all that is not life, has begun. And that it will not end until Jesus has defeated every ruler and authority and power, even death – the final enemy.
So we respond to this cry, knowing that the answer to every subtle whisper "there is no alternative" is an empty grave and a wide open sky from which a deluge of justice will pour. There is an alternative. Things can change. They do change. And we are called to be agents of that change.
We act not from anger and fear, but from hope. Seeing the signs of change, seeking the moments of grace, and living, speaking and acting in light of the coming dawn. Citizens of heaven, staking heaven's just claim in a world of injustice.
Doing justice together. A cross and a cry.
Ben Thurley is the National Coordinator of Micah Australia.